"3 Flutes Up-1999

Selecting a high-, medium-, or low-voiced flute for each selection, Clearance "Chip" Shelton changes timbres to suit the music. His ensemble, which has performed regularly in New York for five years, offers a variety of Jazz, R&B, and pop on Shelton's second recording as a leader. Although his vertical flute sounds the same as C flute, its outward appearance is rather unusual. The flute's mouth piece has been turned and remounted at the front end of the tube so that Shelton holds the instrument in the same fashion as a soprano saxophone to play it. The flutist emphasizes that similarity when he performs John Coltrane's "Transition" up-tempo and with passion. shelton switches during his tribute to Mal Waldron, "The Mal Man", and uses all three pairing bass flute with string bass, alto flute with piano, and C vertical flute with the guitar. There are no overdubs on the album. "Inspiration", "Dedication", and "Surrender" constitute Shelton's three-part suite that employs a different flute and consequent timbral change for each movement. The bass flute is as deep and emotional as an operatic contralto's aria, while the alto flute sits comfortably with lighter pop ballads. Two sambas spice up the program, while backbeats and lyrical vocals round out an album that features unique timbres wrapped up in the jazz tradition.

---Jim Santella/Cadence November 1999

The point here is that mere listening 'Three Flutes Up' understate the point of the CD: You get involved with leader Chip Shelton and his stalwart group. You become part of his family. Whether it's three cherries or 'Three Flutes Up', it's jackpot!
--- Arnold Jay Smith..
The New School

'3 Flutes up' is now in Heavy Rotation on KLON/Los Angeles, moved up to Top 5 position at WWUH/Harford for the month of July, 1999!
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